Gold Coast Bulletin only Please check with Picture Editor before use. Birds are breeding at Black Swan Lake. Photo by Richard Gosling
Gold Coast Bulletin only Please check with Picture Editor before use. Birds are breeding at Black Swan Lake. Photo by Richard Gosling

ANIMAL PROTECTION: Protesters to risk own lives

PROTESTERS are preparing to put their bodies on the line and jump into the water if Gold Coast City Council trucks start dumping dirt to fill in Black Swan Lake at Bundall.

This comes as Council and the Gold Coast Turf Club are preparing to relocate wildlife before beginning the process of filling in the native habitat "any day now".

A mother swan and her babies at Black Swan Lake. Photo by Richard Gosling
A mother swan and her babies at Black Swan Lake. Photo by Richard Gosling

"If I see a truck backing up, I will personally get my wetsuit on, grab my boogie board, a bottle of water and I will get in the lake and stay there," said protester and animal lover Bronwyn Baker.

"I cannot just sit by and watch that happen.

"We have people who live near by that will call straight away and we will be down there, jumping in the water with no hesitation."

About 20 people gathered outside Council in July to protest the filling of Black Swan Lake. Photo: Lea Emery
About 20 people gathered outside Council in July to protest the filling of Black Swan Lake. Photo: Lea Emery

Originally the Gold Coast City Council had planned to collect "birds and chicks" to relocate them or "humanely euthanise" them if suitable relocations options - such as taking them to Currumbin wildlife reserves - were not viable.

However, Councillor Gary Baildon said the responsibility was now in the hands of the Turf Club, saying Council was not responsible for the welfare of the lake's native animals.

Environmentalists and residents prepare to rally to save Black Swan Lake at Bundall with hands around the lake. Left to right, John Woodlock, Val Shooter, Nancy Sutherland (wildlife Qld) and John Shooter. Picture Glenn Hampson
Environmentalists and residents prepare to rally to save Black Swan Lake at Bundall with hands around the lake. Left to right, John Woodlock, Val Shooter, Nancy Sutherland (wildlife Qld) and John Shooter. Picture Glenn Hampson

Ms Baker said while swans and other native birds could be moved, other amphibians such as turtles and frogs would simply be "buried alive" once the trucks started dumping dirt.

She said she was afraid the birds would be euthanised rather than relocated.

"I picture them ringing their necks," she said.

Crowd pictured during a protest against the filling of Black Swan Lake at Bundall. Picture Mike Batterham
Crowd pictured during a protest against the filling of Black Swan Lake at Bundall. Picture Mike Batterham

"They won't catch them all (to relocate them) they don't care and will just dump dirt on top of them all.

"And what about all the other smaller amphibians they won't catch?"

A Council spokesman said he could not comment on an exact time frame for when works would start on filling the lake.

But it is safe to say Ms Baker and her fellow protesters will be waiting, wetsuits at the ready.

The Turf Club were unavailable for comment last night.



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